GERGEN: Much of his bounce has come among independents. They are up the most sharply, and that's the group that was sort of soured on him. I think turning back toward the center, the kind of things he's done, working with Republicans across the aisle in the lame duck, you know, bringing -- sending signals that he really does want to work with the business community, and then the Tucson speech was judged to be extremely effective and resonated so well with the public.
TAPPER: But how much bipartisanship is truly possible? The Tucson shooting seems to have just delayed the fighting. House Republicans voted to repeal the health care law just one week later.
(UNKNOWN): And a motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
TAPPER: The White House suggests the smart politics will be those who reach across the aisle.
AXELROD: I think those who make the honest effort to do that will have support, public support. Those who don't, won't. And that's a great motivator in this town.
TAPPER: And the White House seems to be clearly signaling a new day, especially for the business community, part of which may come from the appointment of centrist Democrat and former JPMorgan Chase executive Bill Daley as new White House chief of staff.
So out with the old rhetoric, as seen on "60 Minutes" in 2009...
OBAMA: I did not run for office be helping out a bunch of, you know, fat-cat bankers on Wall Street.
TAPPER: ... and in with the new tone, a business-friendly tone.
(on-screen): On Tuesday, you'll hear the president talk about what he calls his competitiveness agenda and the importance of increasing exports.
(voice-over): As he discussed with Chinese President Hu Jintao last week, with a touch of the late-night cable TV pitchman.
OBAMA: We want to sell you all kinds of stuff. We want to sell you planes; we want to sell you cars; we want to sell you software.
TAPPER: That was accompanied by a Wall Street Journal op-ed by the president talking about getting rid of dumb government regulations that have stifled innovation and have had a chilling effect on growth and jobs.
On Friday, the president announced a new presidential council on jobs and competitiveness to be chaired by the CEO of GE, Republican Jeffrey Immelt.
GERGEN: The State of the Union is an enormous opportunity for him to continue this -- this rebound, this comeback, because he's -- he's got chance now to really provide a theme for his presidency for the last two years. He's in one heck of a lot better shape than he was only a few weeks ago, but no one should underestimate the barriers that are still in his way.
TAPPER: The unemployment rate is stubbornly high. Tough decisions need to come about the national debt. And the new Congress is full of Tea Partiers who are wary of any new spending.
(on-screen): Where does President Obama think the state of his presidency is?
GIBBS: Jake, I -- I don't know that he spends a lot of time separating the state of the country and where he is in his presidency, because his task is -- the task that he has before him and the task that he'll bring to -- to the next two years is helping our economy continue to recover. Obviously, there are aides inside of here and outside of here that spend time worrying about the president's political standing.